How fear of nuclear power is hurting the environment | Michael Shellenberger

Have you heard the news? We’re in a clean energy revolution. And where I live in Berkeley, California, it seems like every day I see a new roof
with new solar panels going up, electric car in the driveway. Germany sometimes gets
half its power from solar, and India is now committed
to building 10 times more solar than we have in California, by the year 2022. Even nuclear seems to be
making a comeback. Bill Gates is in China
working with engineers, there’s 40 different companies
that are working together to try to race to build the first
reactor that runs on waste, that can’t melt down and is cheaper than coal. And so you might start to ask: Is this whole global warming problem going to be a lot easier to solve
than anybody imagined? That was the question we wanted to know, so my colleagues and I decided
to take a deep dive into the data. We were a little skeptical of some parts of the clean energy revolution story, but what we found really surprised us. The first thing is that clean
energy has been increasing. This is electricity from clean energy
sources over the last 20 years. But when you look at
the percentage of global electricity from clean energy sources, it’s actually been in decline
from 36 percent to 31 percent. And if you care about climate change, you’ve got to go in the opposite direction to 100 percent of our electricity
from clean energy sources, as quickly as possible. Now, you might wonder, “Come on, how much could five percentage
points of global electricity be?” Well, it turns out to be quite a bit. It’s the equivalent of 60 nuclear plants the size of Diablo Canyon,
California’s last nuclear plant, or 900 solar farms the size of Topaz, which is one of the biggest
solar farms in the world, and certainly our biggest in California. A big part of this is simply
that fossil fuels are increasing faster than clean energy. And that’s understandable. There’s just a lot of poor countries that are still using wood
and dung and charcoal as their main source of energy, and they need modern fuels. But there’s something else going on, which is that one of those clean energy
sources in particular has actually been on the decline
in absolute terms, not just relatively. And that’s nuclear. You can see its generation
has declined seven percent over the last 10 years. Now, solar and wind have been
making huge strides, so you hear a lot of talk
about how it doesn’t really matter, because solar and wind
is going to make up the difference. But the data says something different. When you combine all the electricity
from solar and wind, you see it actually barely makes up
half of the decline from nuclear. Let’s take a closer look
in the United States. Over the last couple of years —
really 2013, 2014 — we prematurely retired
four nuclear power plants. They were almost entirely
replaced with fossil fuels, and so the consequence
was that we wiped out almost as much clean energy
electricity that we get from solar. And it’s not unique to us. People think of California
as a clean energy and climate leader, but when we looked at the data, what we found is that, in fact, California reduced emissions more slowly
than the national average, between 2000 and 2015. What about Germany? They’re doing a lot of clean energy. But when you look at the data, German emissions have actually
been going up since 2009, and there’s really not anybody
who’s going to tell you that they’re going to meet
their climate commitments in 2020. The reason isn’t hard to understand. Solar and wind provide power
about 10 to 20 percent of the time, which means that when
the sun’s not shining, the wind’s not blowing, you still need power for your hospitals, your homes, your cities, your factories. And while batteries have made
some really cool improvements lately, the truth is, they’re just never
going to be as efficient as the electrical grid. Every time you put electricity
into a battery and take it out, you lose about 20 to 40
percent of the power. That’s why when, in California, we try to deal with all the solar
we’ve brought online — we now get about 10 percent
of electricity from solar — when the sun goes down,
and people come home from work and turn on their air conditioners
and their TV sets, and every other appliance in the house, we need a lot of natural gas backup. So what we’ve been doing is stuffing a lot of natural gas
into the side of a mountain. And that worked pretty well for a while, but then late last year,
it sprung a leak. This is Aliso Canyon. So much methane gas was released, it was the equivalent of putting
half a million cars on the road. It basically blew through all
of our climate commitments for the year. Well, what about India? Sometimes you have to go places
to really get the right data, so we traveled to India a few months ago. We met with all the top officials —
solar, nuclear, the rest — and what they told us is, “We’re actually having
more serious problems than both Germany and California. We don’t have backup;
we don’t have all the natural gas. And that’s just the start of it. Say we want to get
to 100 gigawatts by 2022. But last year we did just five, and the year before that, we did five.” So, let’s just take
a closer look at nuclear. The United Nations Intergovernmental
Panel on Climate Change has looked at the carbon content
of all these different fuels, and nuclear comes out really low —
it’s actually lower even than solar. And nuclear obviously
provides a lot of power — 24 hours a day, seven days a week. During a year, a single plant can provide
power 92 percent of the time. What’s interesting is that
when you look at countries that have deployed different
kinds of clean energies, there’s only a few that have done so at a pace consistent with dealing
with the climate crisis. So nuclear seems like
a pretty good option, but there’s this big problem with it, which all of you, I’m sure, are aware of, which is that people really don’t like it. There was a study, a survey done
of people around the world, not just in the United States or Europe, about a year and a half ago. And what they found is that nuclear is actually one
of the least popular forms of energy. Even oil is more popular than nuclear. And while nuclear kind of
edges out coal, the thing is, people don’t really fear coal
in the same way they fear nuclear, which really operates on our unconscious. So what is it that we fear? There’s really three things. There’s the safety
of the plants themselves — the fears that they’re going
to melt down and cause damage; there’s the waste from them; and there’s the association with weapons. And I think, understandably, engineers look at those concerns
and look for technological fixes. That’s why Bill Gates is in China
developing advanced reactors. That’s why 40 different entrepreneurs
are working on this problem. And I, myself, have been
very excited about it. We did a report:
“How to Make Nuclear Cheap.” In particular, the thorium reactor
shows a lot of promise. So when the climate
scientist, James Hansen, asked if I wanted to go to China with him and look at the Chinese
advanced nuclear program, I jumped at the chance. We were there with MIT
and UC Berkeley engineers. And I had in my mind that the Chinese would be able
to do with nuclear what they did with so many other things — start to crank out small nuclear
reactors on assembly lines, ship them up like iPhones or MacBooks
and send them around the world. I would get one at home in Berkeley. But what I found was somewhat different. The presentations were all
very exciting and very promising; they have multiple reactors
that they’re working on. The time came for the thorium reactor,
and a bunch of us were excited. They went through the whole presentation,
they got to the timeline, and they said, “We’re going to have
a thorium molten salt reactor ready for sale to the world by 2040.” And I was like, “What?” (Laughter) I looked at my colleagues and I was like, “Excuse me — can you guys speed that up a little bit? Because we’re in a little bit
of a climate crisis right now. And your cities are really
polluted, by the way.” And they responded back, they were like, “I’m not sure what you’ve heard
about our thorium program, but we don’t have a third of our budget, and your department of energy
hasn’t been particularly forthcoming with all that data you guys
have on testing reactors.” And I said, “Well, I’ve got an idea. You know how you’ve got 10 years
where you’re demonstrating that reactor? Let’s just skip that part, and let’s just go right
to commercializing it. That will save money and time.” And the engineer just
looked at me and said, “Let me ask you a question: Would you buy a car that had never
been demonstrated before?” So what about the other reactors? There’s a reactor that’s coming online
now, they’re starting to sell it. It’s a high-temperature gas reactor. It can’t melt down. But it’s really big and bulky,
that’s part of the safety, and nobody thinks
it’s going to ever get cheaper than the reactors that we have. The ones that use waste as fuel
are really cool ideas, but the truth is, we don’t actually know how to do that yet. There’s some risk that you’ll
actually make more waste, and most people think
that if you’re including that waste part of the process, it’s just going to make the whole
machine a lot more expensive, it’s just adding another complicated step. The truth is, there’s real questions about how much
of that we’re going to do. I mean, we went to India and asked
about the nuclear program. The government said
before the Paris climate talks that they were going to do something
like 30 new nuclear plants. But when we got there
and interviewed people and even looked at the internal documents, they’re now saying
they’re going to do about five. And in most of the world,
especially the rich world, they’re not talking
about building new reactors. We’re actually talking
about taking reactors down before their lifetimes are over. Germany’s actually pressuring
its neighbors to do that. I mentioned the United States — we could lose half of our reactors
over the next 15 years, which would wipe out 40 percent
of the emissions reductions we’re supposed to get
under the Clean Power Plan. Of course, in Japan, they took
all their nuclear plants offline, replaced them with coal,
natural gas, oil burning, and they’re only expected to bring
online about a third to two-thirds. So when we went through the numbers, and just added that up — how much nuclear do we see
China and India bringing online over the next 15 years, how much do we see at risk
of being taken offline — this was the most startling finding. What we found is that
the world is actually at risk of losing four times more clean energy
than we lost over the last 10 years. In other words: we’re not
in a clean energy revolution; we’re in a clean energy crisis. So it’s understandable that engineers
would look for a technical fix to the fears that people have of nuclear. But when you consider
that these are big challenges to do, that they’re going to take
a long time to solve, there’s this other issue, which is: Are those technical fixes
really going to solve people’s fears? Let’s take safety. You know, despite what people think, it’s hard to figure out how
to make nuclear power much safer. I mean, every medical
journal that looks at it — this is the most recent study
from the British journal, “Lancet,” one of the most respected
journals in the world — nuclear is the safest way
to make reliable power. Everybody’s scared of the accidents. So you go look at the accident data — Fukushima, Chernobyl — the World Health Organization
finds the same thing: the vast majority of harm
is caused by people panicking, and they’re panicking
because they’re afraid. In other words, the harm that’s caused
isn’t actually caused by the machines or the radiation. It’s caused by our fears. And what about the waste? Everyone worries about the waste. Well, the interesting
thing about the waste is how little of it there is. This is just from one plant. If you take all the nuclear waste
we’ve ever made in the United States, put it on a football field, stacked it up, it would only reach 20 feet high. And people say it’s poisoning
people or doing something — it’s not, it’s just sitting
there, it’s just being monitored. There’s not very much of it. By contrast, the waste that we don’t
control from energy production — we call it “pollution,” and it kills
seven million people a year, and it’s threatening very serious
levels of global warming. And the truth is that even if we get
good at using that waste as fuel, there’s always going to be
some fuel left over. That means there’s always going to be
people that think it’s a big problem for reasons that maybe don’t have
as much to do with the actual waste as we think. Well, what about the weapons? Maybe the most surprising thing
is that we can’t find any examples of countries that have nuclear power and then, “Oh!” decide to go get a weapon. In fact, it works the opposite. What we find is the only way we know how to get rid large numbers
of nuclear weapons is by using the plutonium in the warheads as fuel in our nuclear power plants. And so, if you are wanting to get
the world rid of nuclear weapons, then we’re going to need
a lot more nuclear power. (Applause) As I was leaving China, the engineer that brought Bill Gates there
kind of pulled me aside, and he said, “You know, Michael,
I appreciate your interest in all the different nuclear
supply technologies, but there’s this more basic issue, which is that there’s just not
enough global demand. I mean, we can crank out
these machines on assembly lines, we do know how to make things cheap, but there’s just not enough
people that want them.” And so, let’s do solar and wind
and efficiency and conservation. Let’s accelerate the advanced
nuclear programs. I think we should triple the amount
of money we’re spending on it. But I just think the most important thing, if we’re going to overcome
the climate crisis, is to keep in mind that the cause
of the clean energy crisis isn’t from within our machines, it’s from within ourselves. Thank you very much. (Applause)

Comments 100

  • thorium is the best and the technology is here

  • Wood and dung, are not fossil fuels. Where does this guy get his data?

  • I am starting to hate TED talks.

    They present themselves as if they were revealing some sort of revelation that the world is not aware of.

    Essentially, everything TED speakers present is bullshit. I wouldn't have their confidence even if I was equipped with God's truth.

  • All the eco-facists will disintegrate u !

  • The problem of nuclear energy waste is that it will stick fhere for like 1000 years and you cant even recycle it

  • He labels nuclear "clean" and therefore cannot be taken serious.
    He is a lobbyist, but certainly not a serious scientist.
    Nuclear is not clean, and if we consider that waste needs to be safely stored for at least hundreds of years, it is not even price-competitive (well, the public will pay..). Only a lobbyist could ignore that and argue that fear is the main problem.

    Apart from that, I agree with his problem analysis regarding the growing fossil fuel use, or premature decommissioning of nuclear plants.

  • your climate argument is fake. fake fake. that said the only real problem with nuclear power is when you use plutonium as fuel. Chrenobel and Fukashima used Plutonium as fuel and both were unable to SCRAM the reactors and suffered meltdowns. Plutonium is the most lethal substance known. its half life is 50,000 years.

  • The USA could have achieved energy independence from the likes of Saudi Arabia and Iran LONG AGO and eliminated smog, etc.,  if we had pursued clean, safe nuclear energy.  Unfortunately, the American, anti-nuclear, activist movement has been a fanatical cult, which doesn't know or care about scientific facts.  France is so lucky that they established large-scale, nuclear energy programs before the anti-nuclear propaganda of the 70's and 80's took hold of Western society, generally.  I don't imagine we will ever catch up, because of the radical greens' control of Democratic politicians.

  • OMG does that mean if I fear stupidity it will have a negative effect and possibly make it go away? or is it that the nuclear industry with all the very valid concerns that are feared and really being scrutinized is just hurting that landscaping project the CEO's planned this year?

  • How many more regions of Planet Earth do you want to poison effectively forever? Nuclear power has been proven to be a really stupid mistake time and time again, and these morons advocating for more use of it are being disingenuous.

  • Show this Angela Merkel from Germany… we have such loooosers as politicians in our country…

  • Uranium abundance: At the current rate of uranium consumption with conventional reactors, the world supply of viable uranium, which is the most common nuclear fuel, will last for 80 years. Scaling consumption up to 15 TW, the viable uranium supply will last for less than 5 years. (Viable uranium is the uranium that exists in a high enough ore concentration so that extracting the ore is economically justified.)

    Also note that this article was from 2011 so now it's 72 years of fuel…

  • Finally some fucking sense

  • Chernobyl was sabotaged, thanks to American spy James Waste, and Fukushima was nuked (jimstonefreelance proves it).

  • New Zealand has one coal plant rest is hydro, wind, or solar.

  • Which climate crisis is he talking about is it Cooling, Warming or Pollution? it's hard to keep track when it's changed all the time

  • So someone tells me what happens when the nuclear energy is now nuclear waste, where do you dispose of this?

  • Love the Harambe shirt

  • increasing carbon emission? well there you go, thanks to those green parties everywhere.

  • keep the nukes, they might come in handy if we need to sen Bruce up there to blast a rock into bits… lolz


  • So true regarding fear impeding the adoption of nuke power! After living through the Fukushima disaster, where they had explosions in four reactors at a plant with only 3 reactors running, it is so true that fear of nuclear power is affecting it's adoption. After years of vigilant research to determine which supermarkets sold produce from OUTSIDE the contaminated disaster region, it is finally getting easier to trust that we are able to source safe food for our family. If the wind would have been blowing in the opposite direction during the 3 meltdowns and fuel fire, the country would have been cut in two and there would be a huge contaminated no-go zone. As it is, only a few hundred thousand people who lost their homes. I was a true believer in nuclear power until Fukushima revealed the fear and lies that result from the use of nuclear power. You've yet to have your Fukushima or Chernobyl in the US, but that day is coming.

  • All of the things people like Shellenberger and Bill Gates are talking about concerning Nuclear, I heard in Engineering School over 35 years ago. We have wasted the last 35-40 years by not building Nuclear Plants. We should be getting almost all of our baseline electrical energy from Nuclear. People in the electrical power industry and the really good scientists and engineers have known about this for quite some time. It's the MSM, Hollywood, and assorted idiots who have been anti-nuclear. I hope people are smart enough to see this, but when it comes to the average citizen, I'm skeptical.

  • We have 3 nuclear reactors that have caused serious harm to the environment in 30 years.

    That's not fear its fact.

  • I am not an expert on any level but I do notice that every expert that speaks of clean nuclear energy never really addresses the waste issue. They speak of how the world is scared because of meltdowns and that meltdowns are far and few between and becoming less and less of an issue so we should make more nuclear plants and not less. Yet in all cases, the waste still exists. The EPA and DOE are both struggling to come up with even a warning label that will express the dangers of spent radioactive fuel that will translate 10,000 years from now. For me to be excited about nuclear energy being a viable clean energy source, the waste would have to be clean. Fossil fuels emit waste as carbon, solar waste is the damage done to the earth for the essential rare metals, hydro energy disrupts natural water flow and wildlife, and nuclear leaves a waste product that is dangerous so far into the future that we worry that humans might not understand the language we use for the warning. They are struggling with the warning label… I am not in favor of any source over another but I definitely notice that most of the scientific support for nuclear energy never really explains how they plan to handle the waste with a concrete and real solution.

  • Thorium verses uranium….
    I hear the one we use is better for weapons. The other better for energy. Maybe people are more afraid of the weapons created by countries "developing" nuclear power.

  • 2 words…nuclear waste

    where does it go….you cant keep piling up the waste from this…eventually it will ruin the environment

  • since the 70s we have been putting more and more water in sealed containers….it can be anything from simple bottled water to dish soaps sports drinks, soups, closed chillers units, antifreeze…the list is very large and goes on

    water is made up of two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom….which makes it a molecule …one molecule is what we call vapor….it is only when a bunch of those molecules start clinging together that it is liquid
    the reason this is important is because H2O doesnt act like you think it does…because as it evaporates and becomes a vapor those molecules separate again

    now then…to the climate part
    every cooling system has a certain amount of coolant that is need to keep it at optimum temperature…earth is no different
    for instance take 2 pots of water…one 1/4 full and one all full…..heat them up at the same temperature…..the one that is 1/4 full heats up faster makes steam (humidity) faster

    same for the earth …since all this water is being put in stored containers …it is not circulated …..less H2O molecules in the air….they cant combine to make liquid that can circulate

    right now there are the same amount of H2O molecules on earth as there were in the beginning, so no, those molecules are not gone…they havent went into space….the reason they are gone is because we put them in sealed containers

    so if we deal with the water shortages ….water in sealed containers……then we can deal with the climate heating up

    or we can just wait till some of the ice is melted….yup

    because H2O as a solid doesnt circulate or evaporate till it is melted….once it is melted a little…the ground water and the heat index temps will be back to normal

    as I said…this is unrefined, I wrote it in a hurry to reply to a USA TODAY video on water disappearing

    I have this idea in my head and cant get it out in a coherent way for most people to understand…yes it goes way out there, but it is something that no one else is addressing , the water levels around the globe have decreased…..look at california, all the reservoirs…..michigan residents have stated that nestle has made their ground water drop in their rivers and streams…..there are documentaries on this

    I wish someone would actually look at this because I'm certain this is a big deal

    but as I said…we can just wait for the polar caps to melt and replenish the H2O molecules that are able to circulate
    remember…H2O is just a molecule until it combines with another H2O molecule…then it becomes a gas, then a mist, then moisture, then water…..ask yourself…how many H2O molecules in a visible water drop…the answer is
    there are 1.67 sextillion water molecules in a water drop…fact

  • Denmark is even cleaner than Germany, afaik

  • "FRENCH PRESIDENT EMMANUEL Macron has said that France wouldshut down 14 of the country's 58nuclear reactors currently in operation by 2035, of which between four and six will be closed by 2030."

  • 1) Solar panels and wind turbines are NOT "clean" nor are they nearly as efficient as nuclear power or coal.

    2) The leading cause of human environmental manipulation is agriculture/farming … and it's not "cow farts". Humans fart methane. Cows burp methane and lots of it. Not to mention, industrial farmers are tearing down acres of rain forests every day to graze cows for the "developed world" to eat.

  • "Climate Crisis"
    Environmentalist fear-mongering.
    Can't be rational, slow, and roll in green energy at a comfortable pace, making fuel cheaper in the process. We need to work NOW, BEFORE THE WORLD BLOWS UP!!!

  • Well Rosatom already created a working industrial tier reactor that is using some "Fast neutron" technology. It runs on waste (could run on Thorium as well) also uses molten salt (but already came out, doesn't have to wait until 2040), cannot get into a meltdown, works under very low pressure, thus cannot explode and requires a very small amount of fuel to run for a very very very long time. On top of all of this the radiation output is negligible compared to current types of Nuclear reactors. Of course there is a bad side and it's that so far it's so expensive that it requires unreasonable amount of years to cover it's cost. It needs to be popularized maybe.

  • I live in CA. We are a state of buffoons. As long as you are signaling you're pro-environment that's all that matters. "……More slowly than the national average". Awesome.

  • I took a deep dive into the data and realized just how full of crap Al Gore was.

  • Solar energy is a pipe dream. Windmill energy is a crack pipe dream. Nuclear is unpopular with "environmentalists" who want life to be unpleasant. There were, before environmentalist politicians, conservationists. Environmentalist benefited by moving in on conservationist's good reputation for saving great parts of nature. Environmentalists are useless and expensive. I suppose I could find the number somewhere. How much energy overhead is there, in producing solar energy panels and systems. I have no fear that anyone is going to throw a nuclear reactor at me. Qui bono? Who will make billions or trillions of dollars, resulting from taking down or not building reactors?

  • Yeah who's the genius that decided calling Nuclear Power 'Clean Energy' doesn't reveal their dishonesty to anyone other than complete ignorami. I get that they supposedly mean it is not a Carbon emitter, but it is word trickery to imply that Nuclear Power totally doesn't produce the dirtiest indestructible byproducts known to exist.

  • Nuclear energy is clean energy – radioactive leaks are never a problem and storage of nuclear waste is not a problem – that’s why they are trying to get Australia to accept permanent storage even though they have no nuclear plants – gosh don’t mention three mile island or Fukushima or Chernobyl – those things were never a problem – put this guy in a room with radioactive gas and I’ll sit in a room with high levels of CO2 – we’ll see who lasts longer – lol
    Japanese were stupid for not using geothermal energy – but now it’s to late and the total damage caused to the world is beyond measure.

  • All in that room used energy to get to the conference when they could have saved the climate by simply using video conferencing. Same for the annual climate get together by the world's elites they all fly often to exotic locations with their huge fleets of planes again could have saved millions of tons of carbon with video.

  • China should have their reactors ready about the same time that the fukasima reactors will hopefully be contained if all goes well.

  • A football field of nuclear pollution 20 ft deep that will outlast the pyramids as on of the wonders of the world. Beings in the future will wonder why we made so much long lasting toxic pollution .

  • We should be 100% nuclear. Every other technology is more dangerous. Unfortunately humans mis-perceive risk and that will be our downfall. Air travel is 150 times safer per mile than driving a car, yet we all know someone who would sooner drive to Florida than take a plane. We are screwed unless people start to think and act based on reason and evidence.

  • If there was one for rain, the UK would get atleast 90 percent of its electricity from it.

    I know nuclear fission will run off sea water

  • Even if it would be possible to build a 100% safe nuclear power plant (which isn't possible) the nuclear waste is a complete unsolvable problem. The waste is hazardous over geological time periods that humans can't control. The cost of handling this waste will affect future generations tremendously. This is absolutely unacceptable

  • 8:45 "it cant meltdown" has been said every single time about reactors that did face severe trouble… and the we discovered "oh… it CAN meltdown.. but this new design can't!"

  • The problem is still the used stuff. But im’ agreeing if you are not ready to take risk, you dont do anything, in your life. Avoid nuclear is like dont do motorcycle because its dangerous

  • Pyrolysis of waste or just plain burning it would be far better as burning waste not only providea baselines power but can also be renewable when using waste like biomass. Pyrolysis has the added advantages of producing fuel and getting rid of waste, a major environmental feat in itself, as well as producing biochar that locks away carbon directly, and indirectly by improving soil. Sweden is already burning waste to make electricity at such a rate that they're having to import waste for that socialist government program which demonstrates the flaws of the 'capitalism fixes everything' reasoning pervading the Western world.

  • CA leads in this, CA leads in that…CA failing in this mission…emotions trumping data and logic usually is wrong

  • Nobody wants to spearhead the new nuclear revolution. Visionaries like Elon Mush would never push for something that the stupid masses emotionally reject.

  • Solar is cheaper than nuclear. When you factor in subsidies 🙂

  • Let's build more nuclear plants in the places that nuclear plants are already a problem. How many nuclear plants can be build in places around the world that have already been evacuated?

  • The climate must get worse in order for the New World Order to gain more power and that can only get worse by shutting down nuclear plants…you must do what they THEY say but don't ask questions about what THEY do.

  • There is NO climate crisis. I'm surprised that an educated researcher like yourself i'sent aware of this. It was hotter in the 1930's than it is today and the so called C02 levels were even lower then. You are correct about nuclear buy good luck with that.We cant convince the public Al Gore is an idiot so Nuclear is out.

  • Liberal Democrats always obstructing progress and technology.

  • Nuclear advocates should publicize the “Pebble Bed” reactor. This reactor, by its inherent design is 100% safe. Don’t believe? : do the research. But in 50 yrs the general population will look back in amazement at how stupid and petrified those living now were. Yes. That’s all the money hungry AOC/s now howling about that 12 yr “event horizon”. The running toward us catastrophe. What really stupid fools.

  • Bad title people are not afraid of nuclear power they are afraid of nuclear plants built in stupid places like on fault lines and nuclear waste the stays dangerous for generations. Get shielding for nuclear fusion and we will be happy.

  • The rise of carbon in the atmosphere has no correlation with the rising temperature. We are coming out of an ice age that peaked in the 1800s, that’s why the temp is slowly increasing.

  • Ignorant People are preventing the adoption of the BEST energy producing process in the WORLD.

    When will we start ignoring such idiots and getting things done?

  • Ok, I've been wrong for a long time. I was under the impression that nuclear was just straight up bad, turns out it isn't

  • Terrible talk

  • The climate is falling Henny, don't be afraid Chicken Little, I know a salesmen who has a cave by the sea where we will be saved…come meet Fuchashy Loxy.

  • If battery's ever get to the point where they are useful backups to solar. They will be more useful to backup nuclear.

    During the night the electricity provided by load plant is virtually free.

  • Come up with nuclear disaster insurance policy, then I’ll support it.

  • Read the book “Power Hungry” SMRs – most small modular reactors actually are cheap, simple and will even re-use spent radioactive fuel from previous generation larger fission nuclear reactors.

    Most SMRs produce a final shorter half life radioactive waste that is USELESS for use in nuclear weapons. The final waste for SMRs is more compact and easier to store.

    GREENPEACE has painted the world into a tight corner….special thanks to the profoundly science ignorant mainstream news medias….

  • High tech energy concepts are not practical in very poor countries where locals lack essential baseline education to be trained to maintain the energy system safely…..and that do… are quickly hired away to wealthier countries.

  • Zero Point Energy. You guys are full of s*** there's only one clean energy in its zero point our planet runs on it did you know that oil lubricates are plate tectonics and without oil in our plate tectonics will get earthquakes you people are just uninformed don't seek knowledge you don't have common sense. Number one if Bill Gates is involved you know damn well it's purely for profit. Without a care to your health fix Fukushima

  • Hes wearing a rawanda shirtWTF does he know?

  • He's actually wearing a shirt with a gorilla that says rwanda… He's playing the game on such a low level it is shocking.

  • Nuclear has the ability to kill every man woman and child on this planet. It is an extinction concern and you can't shove enough money up this puppet to make that not true.

  • Influencers and politicians: "We need to drastically reduce CO2 emissions!"
    The exact same people: "We need to drastically reduce nuclear power plants!"

    Yeah, because getting rid of the most efficient and reliable form of energy production that produces almost no CO2 at all is the right way to do it.

  • Not enough views!

  • I thought fallout was just a game

  • `  `-

    Shellenberger's error is that he accepts the core assumptions of the for-profit fossil fuel industry. We can't afford to look at this from a profit-seeking perspective. The problem is not that people "think that nuclear power is bad." The problem is that planners and people like Shellenberger think that people will continue to demand greater and greater amounts of energy; that they NEED that energy to live comfortable and happy lives; and that we MUST meet any energy demands that our advertising-driven society believes people MUST have. From a profit-driven perspective this may be true. To NOT meet that demand would be to throw away billions of dollars in profits. The fact is, however, that no form of energy is totally clean, or totally safe. The truth is that we will all need to power down to some degree. In doing so we will live cleaner, safer, healthier, and more satisfying lives. That is how to address the climate crisis. Nuclear energy is not the answer.

  • Speaking for the millions of American leftists who don't have a counter-argument to what you're saying, "Mr. Shellenberger you are a racist".

  • Fear of nuclear is one of the many superstitions people have these days against "invisible sciency stuff." People also fear cell phone radiation, and GMOs, as well as, yes, CO2.

    We are living in one of the least rational times in all of human history.

  • Just because lay people aren’t nuclear physicists does not mean they shouldn’t have an opinion. This earth belongs to ALL of us, not just you scientists.

    I don’t have to be a nuclear physicist to know all the reactor cores that melted down were “designed not to.”

    I don’t have to be a doctorate in physics to know that the land surrounding Chernobyl, Three Mile Island and Fukushima will be uninhabitable for thousands of years to come, to know that the reactors there are all still producing horrific levels of radiation.

    I don’t have to be a scientist to know that the product of nuclear power plants is also nuclear waste we don’t know how to get rid of, save by burying it into the ground and forgetting about it or firing it into the sun.

    The fact is that scientists will never know or be able to predict future disasters. The fact is that with each nuclear reactor that melted down, “scientists” with their maths and smarts weren’t able to foresee the events that led to their demise.


    Just because you are a nuclear physicist or what not, you do not get to talk down to the rest of us who have to live with the consequences of your failed science experiments.

    How can anyone POSSIBLY accuse those who oppose nuclear power as “not thinking about our environment?”

    I’ve been researching the Chernobyl, Three Mile Island and Fukushima disasters. Oh that’s only thousands of families displaced whose lives have been ruined. That’s only a few thousand animals liquidators have had to shoot dead because they’re STILL RADIOACTIVE. That’s only square kilometers of topsoil workers have had to scrape to make the environment safe again. (Where are they going to stick those bags of radioactive garbage?) That’s only a “few” men and women who died of radiation poisoning. Only thousands of people who developed cancer and we still don’t know how many more. The Chernobyl fallout only reached as far as the UK and there are places there that can’t be inhabited today 30 years later. What do we care…


    How can anyone call this “green energy?”

    Coal is not environmentally friendly.

    Nuclear is the new coal.

    I don’t want to bake under increased temperatures, but guess what, I don’t want me or my children to die of cancer either.

    Forget nuclear.

    Research other forms of clean energy.

    Research ways to reduce energy consumption; encourage companies to make appliances and machine that consumes less energy. Encourage public transportation and encourage people to give up gasoline run cars.

    Or if we want to go the nuclear route, research ways to reduce the half-life of nuclear waste, or of matter affected by nuclear fallout.

    If you can figure out how to make Chernobyl, Fukushima etc. livable again, I’d probably be more on board.

    Are scientists trying to develop substances that speed up nuclear decay? Ways to render nuclear waste harmless or more quickly biodegradable? As we use up more fuel for nuclear reactors, we get more undisposable nuclear waste. And no, it’s not “just sitting there being monitored,” it’s a ticking time-bomb waiting to happen. Leaks don’t happen? This doesn’t seep into the ground rendering our water undrinkable? It’s not piling up to the extent that scientists aren’t trying to find ways to dispose of it such as FIRING IT INTO THE SUN? I mean, who are you kidding? That’s not “green” or “environmentally friendly.”

    Until you stuck-up, conceited “scientists” figure out a way to heal Chernobyl, Three Mile Island, Fukushimas, and any future Chernobyls, and not merely suggest we “wait it out” a couple thousand years, until we can effectively neutralize nuclear waste, until you can make radioactive water drinkable again, make Chernobyl livable again, IN MY LIFETIME, I really don’t want to hear about how nuclear energy is “so environmentally friendly.”

    When can people approach the Sarcophagus, remove it and breath it’s air? When is that going to happen? 10,000 years? Are you kidding me?

    Don’t piss radioactive urine on my leg and tell me it’s rain.

  • That is a lie there is more waste from nuclear power plants if they don’t know what they can do with it and that is highly radioactive and toxic see you talk about nuclear power plants being clean in green but there’s two horrible liabilities in the end can’t get rid of the waste and if a terrorist or has a court meltdown you have what like Japan has!

  • Tell me how the Chernobyl core meltdown and three core meltdowns at Fukushima are good for the environment and didn't damage it. Do you possibly have any idea how long ago Fukushima was hit by a tsunami? Try looking it up I won't waste my time telling you. But I will say to this day they have been unable to stop the radioactive pollution through water getting into the the Pacific Ocean, to this day it is still uncontrolled as to it's polluting with radioactive waste the Pacific Ocean. Please tell me how safe and non-polluting Chernobyl Three Mile Island and Fukushima to name just three, which you're not the only three nuclear reactors that have gone polluting its surroundings.

  • Unironically, says: "Dug deep into the data" ignoring the fact that AGW is a scam.

  • Go the nuclear…….

  • Are you a Nut job Nuclear Power safe? Have a word with yourself! Windscale, Three Mile Island, Chernoble and Fukishima are just the ones we know about.

  • Climate change is complete bullshit, but nuclear makes complete sense for electricity generation, so we can save fossil fuels for uses where it isn't easily replaced.

  • The Soy Boy has a point

  • hes so hot

  • New idea. Astatine reactor. XD

  • Thorium molten salt reactors are what this guy should have been talking about in his presentation.

  • I have CO2 in my greenhouse. It works fine. It is not a poison.

  • I clicked this just to upvote it

  • Watch this video people he contradicts everything about what he says about nuclear waste LOL.

  • We have years of research in nuclear m, why aren't we using it? Oh yeah, we're all just pussified bitches who think nuclear is bad.

  • Swedens power is about 49% nuclear, 49% hydro energy and 2% others.

  • The big problem with nuclear is Hollywood.

  • Should we be afraid of nuclear power stations?……………. Fukushima! ………. The Pacific Ocean is dying. THE PACIFIC OCEAN IS DYING !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Triple the money spent? Weve already spent billions with NO advancement

  • Nuclear and hydroelectric is the way to go !!


  • Nuclear is also the ONLY way we will ever get to Mars.

  • Fucking Ted idiot who are you working for

  • Ted stop selling extinction how much did the nukers give you?

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